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Google wants to let you mute those annoying video ads

(TECH NEWS) Ads are everyone’s least favorite part of the internet. Google is testing a feature that allows you to mute entire sites—not just tabs.

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Google to Start Blocking Pop-Up Videos

Ads can be incredibly obnoxious. Equally true is that Ad-blockers are incredibly harmful for revenue on literally any site you visit.

In an effort to curb the most egregiously obnoxious of ads and content while allowing less obtrusive contenders to remain, Google is testing out a feature that will allow users to mute permanently an entire site.

Tone Deaf or Just Deaf?

We’ve all been there before: you’re trying to read a nice little piece about a Canadian chihuahua who can juggle cantaloupe, when suddenly your eardrums are obliterated by an advertisement for nerf guns or a breaking news story about a cucumber recall.

Naturally, you can just mute the tab—but if it’s a site you spend any decent amount of time on, you’re going to spend half as much time muting tabs as you do reading about fruit-manipulating canines. Even worse, of course, is when you think you’ve killed a tab’s audio and another one starts playing.

While Chrome users benefit from seeing a small sound icon on the relevant tabs, this doesn’t help multiple-window users.

This is not the fate that Google wants for you, dear casual browser.

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Kid-Tested, Advertiser-Approved

Videos that auto-play may not be the only reason people use ad-blockers, but they’re certainly one of the worst offenders. By moving to give you a site-wide blocking option, you’ll be able to silence an entire site’s worth of auto-playing videos (looking at you, Facebook) without having to worry about having to reset when you open your browser again or bring up a new tab.

Once the feature is entirely rolled out, all one must do is select the information icon or padlock icon in the Chrome address bar and select the “Mute” option to disable auto-play audio for the entire site. Hopefully, this will be the push people need to begin ditching the more comprehensive ad-blockers in favor of tighter settings and a modicum of patience.

Now for Canary

For those who don’t mind a little bit of uncertainty when it comes to their browsing experience, Chrome is currently testing the perma-mute feature in the Canary version of the browser, both on mobile and on computer platforms.

This feature should dovetail nicely with Chrome’s recent announcement regarding cracking down on trackers and other invasive forms of advertising.


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Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

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